Summer means many things to many people. More outside living. Greater opportunity for outside sports and activities. Vacations. BBQ’s and ice cream becoming a regular occurrence. One thing is for certain though. Summer brings the longest days and hottest temperatures of the year. Unfortunately, not all pets are equipped to deal with the rising heat and brilliant sunshine, and this can make some aspects of responsible pet ownership a little more challenging during the summer season. If you haven’t had to care for a pet over the hottest season of the year before, some of the considerations that you may need to make might not be obvious. As such, we have put together a list of top tips to keep your pet safe this summer!
Throw some shade!
If your pet spends time outside in your yard, make sure there is at least one shady area where she can escape to. Make it as comfortable as possible for her by placing a bowl of water or some food as well as her favorite blanket or toy. It also helps to have a cool room in the house that she can retreat to.
Give plenty of cool, fresh water
Dehydration is one of the biggest risks to your pet this summer, so make sure that she is drinking plenty of fresh, cool water throughout the day. Check bowls regularly and pop a few ice cubes in for good measure.
Microchip her (or make sure her chip details are up to date)
Spending longer outside puts your pet at greater risk of being lost or stolen. Research has shown that animals who are microchipped are more likely to be successfully returned to their owners so if your pet isn’t chipped, arrange to get this done at Wilkinson Animal Hospital in Gastonia, NC as soon as you can. If your pet is already microchipped, check that the details on the database of the microchip registry are up to date. If they aren’t, you can’t be contacted if she is found.
Go for a grooming session
Most animals have coats that naturally thicken up over winter – something which helps them keep warm during the coldest months of the year. However, when summer arrives, they need to shed this winter coat so that their fur can help them regulate their body temperature. Intensive brushing can help your pet to do this. Although you can groom your pet at home, many owners prefer to enlist the help of a professional service who have the experience to safely and swiftly offer a complete grooming service.
Check her preventative care
Your pet should already be on a preventative care program that includes vaccinations and medications to keep her protected from infectious diseases. It is essential that you ensure that she is up to date with all of her preventative care ahead of the summer season since some insects, including mosquitos and ticks, are more common in hot, humid weather than this could increase your pet’s risk of contracting dangerous and potentially deadly diseases. Your Wilkinson Animal Hospital veterinarian will be able to tell you if any additional protection is required.
Know the signs of dehydration
As her owner, your pet is relying on you to spot signs that she is unwell. For this reason, it is extremely valuable to learn to read her behavior and understand the symptoms of certain conditions. In the summer, knowing the signs of heat stroke and dehydration can ensure that your pet gets the help she needs before she becomes dangerously ill. If your furbaby has any combination of the following, get her to our vet as soon as you can:
- Sunken eyes
- Dry nose
- Excessive panting
- Loss of skin elasticity
- Loss of appetite
- Vomiting with or without diarrhea
- Dry, sticky gums
- Failure to urinate for more than 12 hours (you must see our vet immediately)
Don’t walk her during the daytime
If you usually walk your dog during the day, you may need to switch up this routine during the summer since the sidewalks can reach burning temperatures earlier in the day. Many pets visit their vets every year because they have burnt paws. The best way to protect your furbaby is to walk her early in the morning, or after the sun has set. Stand on the ground with bare feet. If it is too hot for your feet, it is too hot for hers!
If you have any questions about the tips shared above, or if you would like more information on the best way to keep your pet safe this summer, don’t hesitate to get in touch with our animal hospital in Gastonia, NC today. Give us a call at 704-457-7600.